Labour rally at parliament highlights outsourcing, work safety and healthcare law

CNN Indonesia – February 6, 2023
Labour Party and FSPMI workers rally in front of DPR building in Jakarta – February 6, 2023 (CNN)

Jakarta – Protesters from the Labour Party and the Indonesian Metal Trade Workers Federation (FSPMI) held a rally in front of the House of Representatives (DPR) building in Jakarta on Monday February 6.

The groups took up three issues during the action, namely protection for outsourced workers at state-owned enterprises (BUMN), work health and safety (K3) and the protection of plantation workers.

With regard to work health and safety, FSPMI President Riden Hatam Aziz highlighted the case of recent workplace accidents at the company Gunbuster Nickel Industri (PT GNI) in North Morowali, Central Sulawesi, and the rights of workers that have not been fulfilled.

"There were two people who died after falling into an oven from a crane. They fell and were burnt to death, added to by many rights that have not been fulfilled", said Aziz.

Aziz also highlighted alleged inequalities between local and foreign workers at the PT GNI nickel smelter facility. "There is inequity between local workers and workers from China, the difference in their prosperity is very big", he said.

He also highlighted protection for workers at palm oil plantations that have lacked proper attention. Yet, according to Aziz, Indonesia is known as a producer of cooking oil.

"Moreover there is the term 'work target system', for example it must be one ton, if an employee is incapable, later they are obliged to get their family and relatives to work to assist in fulfilling the one ton [target]", he said.

Finally, he criticised the Draft Law on Healthcare (RUU Kesehatan) that will reduce Social Security Management Agency (BPJS) benefits for labour and healthcare.

Aziz said that actions today are not just being held at the DPR but also in other parts of the country.

According to CNN Indonesia's observations, there were three vehicles carrying speaker systems and one large command vehicle parked in the mist of the protesters.

In addition to this, the police also tightened security at the DPR building by preparing four tactical vehicles, 15 patrol motorcycles, two ambulances and three water cannon in the DPR building area.

Razor wire was also installed surrounding the DPR main gate. The police officers meanwhile, took shade under trees while they waited for the demonstrators to arrive.

According to Metro Jaya Regional Police Public Relations Division Chief Senior Commissioner Trunoyudo, as many as 1,623 joint personnel were mobilised to provide security for the rally.

Trunoyudo said that the TransJakarta bus lanes would remain open during the demonstration. "And two lanes have been provided for vehicles while the masses convey their opinions", he said.

Speaking separately, Labour Party President Said Iqbal said that they are also voicing their opposition to recently issued Government Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) Number 2/2022, which replaced the Omnibus Law on Job Creation.'

The other issue is their opposition to the Draft Law on Healthcare. In this case the Labour Party is highlighting revisions to articles in the BPJS Law, including reducing worker representation on the Supervisory Board to one person.

"Along with opposing the RUU Kesehatan, the Labour Party is pushing for the Draft Law on the Protection of Domestic Workers (PPRT) to be immediately enacted. As has been asked for by the president", said Iqbal. (psr/pmg)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Demo Buruh di DPR Soroti Outsourcing, PT GNI hingga RUU Kesehatan".]